On Tuesday, Donald Trump spoke at a rally in North Carolina where he blustered that he could win even without the Republican Party, saying:
We need unity in the Republican Party, and I have to be honest: I think I win without the unity … But the leaders have to get supportive. And if they don’t get supportive –we’re gonna win anyway, don’t worry about it. Probably I do better without the kind of support that we’re talking about.
On Wednesday, Trump decided to experiment with his hypothesis, insulting three GOP senators as he met with GOP senators.
As AllahPundit of HotAir reported, when Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, who does not support Trump, stood up and introduced himself, Trump started the ball rolling by accusing, “You’ve been very critical of me.” Flake didn’t bat an eye, firing back, “Yes, I’m the other senator from Arizona — the one who didn’t get captured — and I want to talk to you about statements like that.” Flake was referring to Trump’s insults directed toward Senator John McCain, when he said, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured.” McCain spent 5 1/2 years in captivity in Vietnamese prison camps, often being tortured.
Trump apparently said at the meeting that although he has not blasted Flake, he might well attack him in days to come. After Flake requested that Trump stop vilifying Mexicans, AllahPundit reported, “Trump predicted that Flake would lose his reelection, at which point Flake informed Trump that he was not on the ballot this year.”
“Mr. Sasse continues to believe that our country is in a bad place and, with these two candidates, this election remains a dumpster fire.”
Office of Senator Ben Sasse
Turning to absent Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, another foe, Trump called him a loser, bragging that he would win Illinois in November; Illinois, Barack Obama’s home state, has not gone Republican since 1988.
Trump allegedly addressed Ben Sasse, the most vocal anti-Trump GOP senator, during a series of remarks, snapping, “You must want Hillary.” Sasse’s office later released a statement: “Mr. Sasse continues to believe that our country is in a bad place and, with these two candidates, this election remains a dumpster fire.”
Trump might well be more careful; his constant belittling of his opponents may have made him the prospective nominee, but if enough people take umbrage with his stream of insults, the movement to unseat him as the nominee may yet gain a foothold.